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George and Amy’s Away Day Experience #3 – Preston vs Aston Villa

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George & Amy head to Preston v Villa for another hot date!

– “Amy liked how he “defended his honour”, proving she’s definitely lost touch with reality after watching too much Game of Thrones.”
– “We both opted for the classic British pie: Chicken Balti. The flavour was very nice, but the contents-pastry ratio was slightly skewed”
– “Goal-line clearances are always an exciting part of the game, but John Terry’s in the first half obviously tipped the scales for Amy as she shouted: “Yes John, I actually know who you are!” at the top of her voice.”

Two sides with realistic hopes of promotion matched up at Deepdale on Wednesday night, with Aston Villa hoping to continue their fine form at the expense of a Preston side desperate to put an end to their poor run. Following Chorleygate, we took every precaution possible to stay dry for our next game. I wore the most waterproof coat and shoes I have whereas Amy took it a step further, pulling out all the stops by wearing her big woolly hat. We didn’t address the most critical factor though: we were going to a mid-week match… in November… in the North.

On the Road: Even though both of us only finished work at five, a direct train from Manchester Piccadilly took about 45 minutes so if you’re on a tight schedule, the journey is still feasible. We had to cut corners a little bit though and wolfed down a tea of sour cream and onion Pringles and Celebrations on the way. To be honest, that’s a dream meal- but soon my gut will be bigger than my future. As they say, “you can take the man out of uni, but you can’t take uni out of the man”. Preston train station’s surrounding area was geared up ready for the festive period with the Christmas lights put up to begin a decent journey to the ground. It’s about a half an hour walk to get to Deepdale from the station but there’s plenty of cashpoints and decent looking pubs/restaurants to get your fill. There were plenty of car parks on the main roads as well should driving be an easier option for you.

Venue:

When walking from the station, you turn onto Deepdale Road and suddenly see the floodlights from the ground towering over the terraced housing. It reminded me a lot of Goodison Park, which is similarly hiding in and around the local area and not detached from the actual town or city. Around the away end (the Bill Shankly Kop), there was an interesting statue of Sir Tom Finney as well as a sports bar named in his honour. The statue is also a fountain which was interesting but unrealistic, given the game would definitely have been called off due to a waterlogged pitch as the Preston and England legend slides in for the ball. Inside the ground, there was a nice mix of modernity and tradition. An old-fashioned clock, for example, is the only form of timekeeping available for any nervous or bored supporters to guess how long is left. An adult ticket price also came in at £24, Over 65s could get in for £16, Under 22s for £15, Under 18s for £8 and Under 11s for just £2- kind of what you’d expect for most games at this level so no complaints there.

Cuisine:

As much as we may have enjoyed our unorthodox tea we were both looking forward to our pies so much we got one before the game rather than at half time. Aston Villa took over 2,000 fans, so there could have been a long wait for food, but the staff made sure that the queue moved quickly. We opted for a pie and drink combo for £5.50- not bad at all considering a bottle of Fosters on its own was £3.60. That’s probably punishment for me liking Fosters though in fairness. We both opted for the classic British pie: Chicken Balti. The flavour was very nice, but the contents-pastry ratio was slightly skewed in favour of the latter which isn’t what you’re after. It could’ve been a bit warmer as well, but then that’s understandable given that Preston will have had to have coped with a mass of supporters and can’t exactly hand make their pies from scratch in honour of the Great British Bake Off.

Clientele: Villa have always had a reputation for taking along a large and vocal following across the

country and they didn’t disappoint. Taking over 2,000 to a mid-week game is very impressive irrespective of how the team are doing in the league- cue the smartarses writing ‘Leeds would’ve taken more’ as their epic quest to get top comment on Facebook continues. Villa also had a lot of original chants which are great to hear. Referring to Alan Hutton as ‘the Scottish Cafu’ is absolutely class if a little unrealistic when comparing him to the world class Gary Naysmith at his marauding best in the mid-noughties.

The Match:

Villa started the brighter and were rewarded when James Chester headed in after ten minutes from a Robert Snodgrass delivery to the delight of the travelling faithful. The goal seemed to shake Preston into life though, and they started to take control. They could’ve had a penalty as well- Sean Maguire was taken out by James Chester with replays showing that it probably should’ve been given.

Villa’s second after 30 minutes was a sucker punch- Josh Onomah pounced on a defensive mistake about 50 yards out before squaring for Robert Snodgrass to tap the ball in. The home side continued to enjoy large amounts of possession but couldn’t break through before being caught on the break a couple of times. Villa failed to convert though, Albert Adomah particularly guilty of wasting a good chance after being put through. Overall, the 2-0 win was well deserved for Villa as they pushed closer towards the top two.

Man of the Match:

John Terry and James Chester Two centre halves with Premier League experience really showed their class and marshalled the defence excellently. Keinan Davis also showed great maturity at just 19, offering a constant outlet whether holding the ball up to link play or by making selfless runs into the channel to relieve pressure.

Amy’s Man of the Match: Keinan Davis When confronted by a Preston defender, Davis went head to head with him and showed he wasn’t going to back down. Amy liked how he “defended his honour”, proving she’s definitely lost touch with reality after watching too much Game of Thrones. Rumours that Davis is set for a January transfer to the Night’s Watch remain unfounded.

Highlight of the Night: As I ran through some of Aston Villa’s notable players and history etc. before the game, Amy nodded along and seemed to be absorbing some of the information. Thirty seconds later, she turns to me and asks who we were supporting. You can lead a horse to water…

Highlight of the Night: Amy’s Highlight of the Night: Goal-line clearances are always an exciting part of the game, but John Terry’s in the first half obviously tipped the scales for Amy as she shouted: “Yes John, I actually know who you are!” at the top of her voice.

Photo credit should read: Joel Ryan/PA Wire

Finally, shout out to our mates Michael, Joanne and Tom who also came to the match, making it even more enjoyable for us. Cheers for trebling our usual readership as well of me, Amy and my Mum by reading!

George and Amy

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Fan Videos

Video | The Sunderland Sh*tter caught in the act.

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Poogate. What actually happened?

A video has surfaced of the Sunderland fan reported to have dropped his trousers and have a poo under his seat during Sunderlands game against Reading The young supporter was kicked out of the Stadium of Shite, sorry Light, after supporters parted like the Red Sea in order to order to avoid the sight and smell of their fellow supporter’s bum truffles nestling under his seat.

The story first broke on Saturday night as an onlooker posted this image, accompanied by an explanation of what was going down.

 

 

The fan wrote.

“100% Happened. Kid was two rows back from me. He was absolutely blitzed, may well have had more than just booze looking at his eyes. He was in a bad way a few games ago as well, sleep in his seat.

Today he dropped his pants to his ankles, squatted and curled one out. Everyone around him parted. he pulled his pants back up and just stood there totally spaced out! Then the coppers came up and took him away. A bairn in the row in front saw the shit and started gagging before spewing into our row!”

On top of watching their side crash to an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to Reading, fans sitting close by were left “gagging” as the young lad, seemingly without a care in the world, just sat there and continued to watch the game, which the video seems to confirm.

Another fan got in touch to tell us “It’s the second game in a row he’s been spaced out and arrested, last week he fell asleep during the game and was falling all over the place. He was a right mess. A young child near us started being sick, and there was a few full grown men that weren’t far away from doing the same.”

By the sounds of it, this lad had had more than a few sherbets, and I’d be very surprised if he was back next week. Even if he didn’t have his ticket taken away, you’d have to have some stones to return after causing so much uproar.

Certainly won’t be welcomed back with open arms.

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Away Days

George and Amy’s Away Day Experience #4 – Accrington vs. Newport

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Match Day With The Missus Sees George & Amy head to Accrington vs. Newport

– “Fortunately for me, Amy wasn’t targeted by the ‘sophisticated sex robot sent back through time to change the future for one lucky lady’”
– “We thought we’d switch it up this week and went for a cheeseburger instead of the normal half-time pie”
– “The major talking point of the half for us though was the size of David Pipe, Newport’s right back. He could probably lift an articulated lorry with one arm and has without doubt maxed out every machine he’s ever been on in a gym.”

With the cold intensifying and winter drawing in, we thought it’d be a great idea to go to one of the most exposed grounds in English football. Amy, sporting her new yellow coat, was perfectly kitted out in Newport County’s colours to see if they could put an end to their poor run of form.

Up against them were Accrington Stanley, who started the day just a point off top spot. With everything to play for, it was time for Amy to experience her first ever League Two game – she couldn’t contain her excitement…

On the Road:
As per usual, we opted to travel to the game by train, only setting us back a tenner. Some trains are direct to Accrington from Manchester Victoria so it generally it isn’t too bad getting there. Sadly though, the seating was clearly designed for hobbits. At Six-Foot I’m only slightly above average height but it wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say my knees were above my head. I looked like Peter Crouch driving a reliant robin.

From the station you’ve got about a 20 minute walk ahead of you with a fair majority of it uphill. This is where Amy seriously regretted overdoing the Romanian deadlifts at the gym the day before. She frequently let me know about it of course… Amy complaining? Short odds on that one. On the plus side, there’s plenty of places to eat or drink on the way to the ground whether you want a sit down meal or just something to take with you.

Next to the viaduct there’s a McDonald’s and a couple of pubs on the way up as well. For all you cheapskates there’s an off-licence too, should you wish to wet your whistle pre-match.

Venue:
This isn’t meant with any disrespect, but the Crown Ground or, by its current sponsored title, the Wham Stadium, really emphasises how impressive Accrington Stanley’s recent success has been. It holds just over 5,000 people with almost 2,000 of that being terraced. The match was hardly a long ball fest but, to put into context how small the ground is, three balls had gone out just twelve minutes in.

The away end has no cover so you are at the mercy of the conditions. When we arrived Amy and I started having flashbacks of our trip to Chorley just 15 miles down the road during the height of Storm Brian (with hindsight, the worst decision we’ve ever made). It was stupidly cold but, luckily, remained dry. The toilets and club shop reminded me of the poor sod who got the box room in a shared flat at uni but the staff were excellent and dead welcoming- all you can ask for really.

Tickets on the day were £20 for an adult, £15 for concessions and under 18s and £5 for under 12s. These are universally accepted prices in English football- I understand why my Dad was always keener to go to a match whenever it was ‘kids for a quid’ now. Shocking that not a single Wham song was played while we were there though.

Cuisine:
We thought we’d switch it up this week and went for a cheeseburger instead of the normal half-time pie. No complaints about the pretty standard £4.00 but the option of having ketchup or mustard in bottle form was a real game changer. This may sound overdramatic, but the disappearance of bottled condiments around English football grounds is one of the biggest tragedies of the modern game. Well done Accrington Stanley, we salute you for not bowing to convention.

Amy felt the burger itself was pretty good and the meat-onion-bread ratio was also impressive. I can’t comment- to say I was hungry would be an understatement- it wasn’t eaten, it was absorbed. Beyond burgers, there were plenty of food and drink options such as hot drinks, hot dogs and pies all priced at £2.50. A bottle of beer was £3.00 so, again, kind of what you’d expect. Overall the catering facilities weren’t bad at all.

Clientele:
Newport took just under 200 fans which, at first glance, isn’t many. At the same time though, it’s a four hour car journey (410 mile round-trip) before you even consider the traffic around Birmingham or Manchester. It’s not necessarily about the quantity of your fans but how vocal and supportive they are.

Newport find themselves only just outside the play offs after last season’s relegation scare but the Exiles ticked all the boxes in this case and had some funny original chants. A personal favourite was “1-0 to the sheep-shaggers”… it’s always important to be able to take the mick out of yourself. They were also Amy’s favourite away fans so far given her worryingly irrational obsession with the Welsh accent.

The Match:
Newport started the game the brighter of the two and not just because of their yellow kits. The Exiles’ Frank Nouble got involved early on and had a couple of decent chances while Accrington’s main threat came from the in-form Kayden Jackson. The latter’s pace in behind was beginning to cause problems and he managed to beat goalkeeper Joe Day to a 50-50, drawing a foul in a dangerous area.

The major talking point of the half for us though was the size of David Pipe, Newport’s right back. He could probably lift an articulated lorry with one arm and has without doubt maxed out every machine he’s ever been on in a gym.

Into the second half and Newport were out the traps quickly to break the deadlock. A short corner caught Accrington’s defence napping and Frank Nouble smashed a right foot shot, on the turn, into the top corner.

Although the lead at that point was probably deserved, the away side sat back and invited pressure, hoping to catch Accrington on the counter. After hitting the woodwork and having a shot cleared off the line, Stanley eventually equalised through Mallik Wilks in the 88th minute following a goalmouth scramble. Overall, given the balance of play, a draw was a fair result and both sides could be happy with their efforts.

Man of the Match: Frank Nouble
The centre forward had a thankless task leading the line with Padraig Amond but took his only clear cut chance to make it 1-0. He was always a threat with his pace, power and aerial ability too. Special mention also goes to Newport’s Ben White, currently on loan from Brighton. Composed with or without possession, the young defender has got a bright future.

Amy’s Man of the Match: David Pipe
Amy liked his nickname ‘Pipey’ and how he “ran around a lot and shouted at people”. She also thought he looked more like a rugby player than a footballer… not sure how that warrants Man of the Match but this isn’t my segment so I’ll ‘pipe’ down. Pun 100% intended, sorry, not sorry.

Highlight of the Day:
On the way to the game there was a lad on the train who was the spitting image of American Pie’s Chuck ‘the Shermanator’ Sherman. Fortunately for me, Amy wasn’t targeted by the ‘sophisticated sex robot sent back through time to change the future for one lucky lady’. Hopefully that reference isn’t too dated.

Amy’s Highlight of the Day:
A young mascot who couldn’t have been older than two or three was having a kick about on the pitch before the game. The ball just about came up to their waist as they took Roberto Carlos style run ups to kick and dribble. They were decent as well… Liverpool will likely put in a £35 million bid in January.

Thanks for reading! George and Amy

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ADB Videos

Newcastle fan pranks Sunderland supporters into thinking Alan Pardew is their new manager.

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With the recent mess going on at Sunderland, Matty Renton from The Magpie Channel  thought he’d head on over to the stadium of light, undercover and ask the fans how they felt about the recent managerial appointment of Alan Pardew, Joe Kinnear, Michael Chopra. Just to wind them up for a bit of a laugh.
Other questions included the potential takeover bid from Poundland, with the incentive of getting the atmosphere back at the stadium of light. The idea being that they would be giving one pound seats away.
Another question to the Sunderland fans was how do they feel about the recent form of local rivals Newcastle United, back in the premier league, whilst Sunderland sit rock bottom of the championship.
Hope you enjoy the video, please like share and subscribe. Don’t forget we are on social media as well. Facebook, Instagram and twitter at the magpie channel.

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